Is the age of the pale, nondescript waif model almost over? According to Anna Wintour’s letter in the April shape issue of Vogue, it ought to be. She explains she chose Gisele Bündchen for the cover because she’s remained “athletic and curvaceous (by the standards of the modeling business).” Wintour continues:
I wish I could say the same for the young women who were just on the runways at the New York fall collections. Overall, they were pale and thin, and entirely lacking in the joyfulness and charm that once defined the supermodel. This, of course, is not their fault: Designers now near-uniformly favor a non-vivacious, homogenous ideal.
Wow. We’re kind of speechless. The most powerful force in the fashion industry — and the head of a magazine chock-full of super-thin models — has finally spoken out about the Skinny Minnie thing. But it wasn’t because she was worried about the girls’ health (she is) but because she thinks the industry is out of touch:
It’s a strange time in the fashion industry. Our top talents, usually so adept at anticipating their public’s preoccupations and desires appear to me to be utterly disconnected from the cultural stream. Surely, given the upcoming summer Olympics in Beijing and the significant attention lavished on pro sports heroes, it would be the right moment to celebrate healthy toned physiques….I would urge designers to consider athleticism and vitality as assets in the wearing of great fashion.
So to recap: People have been saying models are too skinny for years. There’s been a wee bit of change in Europe. La Wintour has written an earth-shattering editor’s letter that could shake things up. Could this be the beginning of a paradigm shift? Or was it just a moment of outspoken girl power in honor of the shape issue? We wish it were up to Anna to decide.